XI Conclusions: Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona

Chris Wright

19th, April 2012


By Chris Wright

1. One shot, one goal. It don’t get more efficient than that boyo!

2. The heady mix of Chelsea’s deep-set tactics and Barca’s penchant for swarming on the edge of their opponent’s penalty area pretty much forced John Terry and Gary Cahill into putting in colossal displays in central defence and boy did they do just that. Both defended like kings for the duration.

3. Let’s not kid ourselves. If Barca had been a tad more ruthless/lucky they’d have been two or three goals up within the first half-an-hour. If only Cesc didn’t have a nerveless hock of ham at the bottom of his left leg, eh? Chelsea may well have ‘had a plan’ (as Frank Lampard insisted after the game) but they also rode their luck to the point of indecency. Thankfully, the footballing gods were with them and they came out smelling of roses.

4. Ashley Cole had his best game in months. He was up and down that touchline all night like a particularly pacey and well-aspirated tractor. Maybe a top-of-the-line Massey Ferguson? He and the equally mobile Ramires nullified Dani Alves for the majority of the game, stifling one of Barca’s key attacking thoroughfares and getting in behind the Brazilian full-back on several occasions – including the goal.

5. Didier Drogba led the line like a little girl manfully. His grovelling quickly became utterly nauseating to those watching on, but that wasn’t the point. It was obviously a pre-approved tactic for him to disrupt the play as often as possible; diving, feigning, etc – and he stuck to his designated role with vim and vigour. Nothing funny about the kick in the perineum from Mascherano though, that looked bloody painful.

6. Can you just imagine what the scoreline would’ve been had David Luiz played?

7. Not to take anything away from Chelsea, but it seemed that Barca played at somewhere hovering around 70% after conceding. Safe in the knowledge that they’ll be given another crack at Roberto Di Matteo’s side in a week’s time, and that a one-goal deficit will not be insurmountable, maybe Saturday’s El Clasico became a more pressing concern as the night wore on and breaking down Chelsea’s sturdy defence became increasingly energy-sapping?

8. John Terry became the latest Premier League footballer to struggle with the simple concept of a handshake…

9. Frank Lampard and Raul Meireles did a fine job without touching the ball so much as 10 times between them all evening. Both had their panties pulled down a couple of times in terms of being rushed and technically flustered by Barcelona’s nippy midfielders, but Lamps and Meirels remained incredibly disciplined while not in possession – staying deep and narrow to clog Barca’s passing arteries. Christ, even Obi Mikel did his bit.

10. They may be flagging somewhat, and a concerted league campaign may be gradually getting beyond them, but on a one-off big game basis, Chelsea definitely have the players at their disposal to win. Seeing lone frontman Drogba barking out defensive/positional orders, moving his pawns this way and that before a late Barca set-piece neatly summed up the value of both his and the rest of his veteran colleagues’ collated experience.

11. Despite the two overwhelming favourites for the final having suffered minor set-backs in the first legs of their respective semis, don’t you just have the nagging suspicion that we’re still staring down the barrel of an all-Spanish Champions League final this year?

Posted in Barcelona, Champions League, Chelsea, Featured, Opinion, Top 10s & lists

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  1. plops says:

    That gif of Terry squeezing Puyol’s poorly wrist is great. I can’t tell if he’s telling Terry it hurts, or just looking at it and Terry already knew. Puyol’s face says it all. “OOH!”

  2. Ted. says:

    Be great if they got through and then lost the final in the cruelest imaginable way…

  3. Kim says:

    Yeah, if John Terry slipped when he was taking the penalty to win it or something.

    Oh wait.

  4. Drags says:

    Something smells like PUJOL…

  5. usrick says:

    Excellent summary from someone who appears to have actually thought a bit before writing. Would that others would do likewise.

  6. aspers says:

    chelsea defence wer lucky not colossal, haha barca was jus not as prolific as normal. thumbs up to ramires he really is a marathon runner. terry is just a vile scumbag and that gif proves it. drogba is 10 times the diver/cheater ashly young will ever be. what a joke!!! he realy is. will be 4-0 to barca at the new camp

  7. Chimpo says:

    chelsea fan here. cant believe we won last night… still don’t. expecting a tubbing in barcelona though- i give them a 15% chance of going through,even with a 1-0 lead.

    even so, if we finish can 4th, fa cup final, and having beaten barca once- perhaps roman will go for the cheaper option this time and keep RDM?

  8. Wolf Haley says:

    Chelsea’s short pitch which has hindered the once excellent Torres has finally come good for them, Messi & Co. couldn’t find the space behind the Chelsea defence, but that’ll all change at the Nou Camp.

  9. Mr Sensible says:

    Well done to Chelsea for winning but come on, their whole plan relied on being incredibly lucky and for Barca to have a bad day.

    Chelsea are one of the richest clubs in the world and probably one of the most expensive squads around so to aplaud them for playing the way they did is rather pathetic. Yes defensivley they were great but this is the semi final of the CL, is this all the other clubs in Europe can think of doing when playing Barca?

    Teams/managers/players of other clubs really need to look at how shit they are in comparison to Barca and rather than have a plan than consists of hoping Barca hit the woodwork a lot and hope to God they have an off day maybe actually improve their football and try to attain a level of football equal to Barca.

    But like I said well done Chelsea, although I’m pretty sure and hope Barca give them a spanking next week for the good of football.

  10. KKK says:

    It looked like Messi was playing for Argentina…

  11. Gaudi says:

    nuff said

  12. Al says:

    that gif, seriously have you ever seen anything so petty and childish from a grown man

  13. PumaYaYa says:

    As long as it doesn’t rain, Barca will be winning at the Nou Camp. Remember when Arsenal took the 1st game at the Emirates…

  14. Venny says:

    I’m a Chelsea fan and I’m expecting them to lose on aggregate at camp nou but you can’t honestly say this win was all luck. Terry and Cahill put in a great performance and Petr Cech?! Haven’t seen him play that well in net in a long time.

  15. Sameer says:

    My conclusion :

    Chelsea got lucky.

  16. Papi says:

    Barcelona will win the second leg with two penalties and a Chelsea send-off.

  17. Alex says:

    It’ll be FCB vs FCB in Munich.

  18. gibberish says:

    Text book how to beat barca. Pack it in, counter, foul, fake injuries…get lucky.

  19. somad says:

    you barca fans/glory hunters seem a bit nervous now, why? you’ll dominate the second leg and go to win the thing, let chelsea enjoy the narrow lead for the week.

  20. Anonymous says:

    i honestly dont think chelsea fans care how they win, the fact of the matter is that they did. any team would take a win over barca and history wont show all the diving and luck they had, just that they won 1-0. as for JT i can only hope that he is the sole responsibility for them losing the semi final and even the fa cup final. he is not just a joke of a player but a joke of a human being!! puyol is 1 of the most respected and liked players in football history and for terry to do that is beyond comprehension. im hoping for another slip up by him costing them the game

  21. p says:

    yeah, chelsea got lucky

    but barca didnt get lucky in 2009?

    also i just love how you haters continue to apply double standards to the chels. well, i might love it if it weren’t so fucking predictable and canned.

    you have to cheat to beat barca because why? they are CHEATERS. their entire squad pretty much. and they lobby the ref more than united even!

    stuff it you cry babies, and save some tissues for next week when chelsea knocks barca out of the competition as they would’ve rightfully in 09.

  22. No says:

    I think barca lacked goal scoring,especialy sanchez,fab they al missed a gud chances even busquet,they need a top 9.messi played wel

  23. seve kantewa says:

    what is luck then? the most important thing in today s football is very simple just to win the game finish .the blue did it next leg 0 -0

  24. Alestorm says:

    Once again a big pile of anti-football from chavsea.
    Nothing changed since Mourinho days

  25. Alestorm says:

    p = such a crybaby chelsea bumboy

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